How to Make a Patent

How to make a patent is answered by knowing how to obtain one. There are several ways you may obtain a patent. Patents are protections for someone’s intellectual property.

Getting a Patent on your Own

Getting a patent on your own can save a lot of money, maybe hundreds or even thousands on attorney’s fees. There is a long history of inventors navigating successfully the United States patent system on their own. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is required by federal law to assist inventors who, without an attorney, apply for patents. Learning to apply, successfully, for a patent isn’t a legal skill. It’s just like any other skill like cooking, carpentry or car repair.  It can be learned. Obviously, it’s not easy (although some steps are quite easy to pick up).

The application process for a patent is an involved and long process.  Knowing how to handle the patent application is just a matter of patience and disciplined study of the process. You can successfully acquire a patent if you are willing to take the patent application one step at a time.

Filing a Patent with an Attorney

Patent attorneys have to pass an additional bar.  This means that they have been tested on their knowledge about patents and the steps to acquiring a patent. Obviously, these professionals are quite good at navigating the process of acquiring a patent.  Cost savings are experienced because trained patent attorneys can help you avoid making mistakes that could be expensive later. An experienced attorney can make the application process much simpler for the inventor.

Filing a Patent Application

Following the rules set out by the United States Patent and Trademark Office can be compared to the instructions you would follow when making a new recipe out of a cookbook. Patent attorneys are like master chefs, they meet the criteria set out to be admitted to the patent bar.  This mean these attorneys have passed the patent bar exam and completed an undergraduate degree in a related field (science or engineering for example) and a law degree.  If you visit a patent clinic at a law school you will be able to ask questions relating to patent law (this is a benefit to the law students who gain valuable experience).

The government in the United States provides help to inventors as a way to help both individuals and innovation. The United States Patent and Trade Office Pro Se Assistance program is designed to help inventors get their patents filed. This program will even assemble all the documents in order to file for a patent.

If you do a rudimentary search online you will find numerous sites offering patent assistance for a fee. If you aren’t careful they will take your money and leave you with nothing to show for it. Disturbingly, some scams will steal your invention idea. Be very careful when using a service that doesn’t include someone admitted to the patent bar.

The three types of patents are utility, plant or design patents. You will need to determine which time of patent you will need so that you can be as efficient as possible with your patent application. Your strategy for filing your application depends on whether you need protection immediately for the invention or whether you are ready to make your more formal patent claim.

A specification will need to be prepared.  This includes the following:

  • An Abstract
  • A Background
  • A Summary
  • A Detailed Description
  • A Conclusion (which would include scope and ramifications)

Another step is determining the legal scope of your invention. An experienced patent attorney is a good idea unless you have 100 percent certain that you have the experience and skills to handle this task.  After you have completed and reviewed your application, double check it so that it will not have unnecessary mistakes for which it may be rejected. The processing of a patent application takes between 1 and 3 years.  A patent application can be filled by fax or mail but you can go to the USPTO website and file it online. The USPTO’s website also includes the most up-to-date filing resources and what is expected of an application.

If you need help with filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or any other legal need, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law School and Yale Law School and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.